Saturday, January 31, 2015

The L.A.W. #3: The Past Is Always Present

Bob Layton and Dick Giordano are back with DC's take on the Charlton Action Heroes. Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, the Question, and the gang continue to wage war against the mysterious Avatar in "The L.A.W." #3.

Ted Kord is facing a dilemma. Dan Garrett the original* Blue Beetle has been swarmed by robots created by Ted's uncle, Jarvis. If they don't stop Jarvis he'll unleash the robots on the world, but Dan is quickly becoming overwhelmed by the mechanical onslaught. Help Dan? Take down Jarvis? What should he do...and why does this all seem so familiar? Easy. He's dreaming. 

Once Question confirms that the BUG was on autopilot, and they're not in danger, everyone relaxes a least for a moment. Rip Jagger offers Ted some advice, there are truths in the terrors of our dreams and if we have the courage to confront them, then we may be receptive to their message. Ted's ready to chalk it up to a microwave burrito, but before the philosophical debate can continue, Peacemaker radios them that they're approaching their destination...Avatar's stronghold!

In the Netherworld, the Justice League is frozen in time but Martian Manhunter uses his psychic abilities to try to reach out for help. There doesn't seem to be any response.

Meanwhile, in France, Eve Eden (aka Nightshade) witnesses the attempted kidnapping of French Ambassador Yves Forte. He's an old family friend, so she decides to step in as Nightshade. Good thing too, the kidnappers are actually Ravanan demons! Using a shadow cyclone she takes out the demons, then opens a portal to transport Yves and herself to safety. 

Justine and Steel quickly find out what Eve considers safety, as Nightshade teleports into Peacemaker HQ. Steel then gets a report of some radar anomalies in the flight path of Peacemaker One and the BUG, but it's too late...the heroes have flown into a trap!

Over the skies of Pakistan, Avatar and his demon hordes fly toward the heroes. How did he know they were coming? Well, probably that meeting with Dr. Bhattacarja last issue. There's no time for the heroes to figure it out, oddly Rip has time to don his Judomaster costume though. Avatar and his demons tear into the aircraft. Salt, Beetle, and Question battle the winged monsters. Peacemaker's ship, Peacemaker One, is destroyed and Mitchell Black is presumed dead. And all the while, Avatar simply watches...that is until one demon tosses Judomaster out into the air like an old doll. 

That gets the villain's attention. Shortly after the demons retreat, but not before Peacemaker makes a miraculous return and manages to tag one of them with a homing device.

As the heroes regroup, wondering the fate of the missing Judomaster, the powers that be decide to launch a geo-stationary operations and reconnaissance technology system...a sort of satellite communications translator, to help unite the world in it's fight against Avatar. Problem is, the device was developed by Dr. Bhattacarja and its launch is exactly what she and Avatar were counting on. Avatar then goes back to his Bond villain shenanigans by taunting Captain Atom again and revealing more of his plan. He wants to be the voice of the "lost children of a thousand wars" and punish the "so-called superheroes, costumed egomaniacs". The rant tires him out a bit and he decides it's time to hit the bottle...a bottle of Soma, an elixir of immortality! As he drinks he begins taunting another unseen prisoner until the issue's final reveal...that second prisoner is Rip Jagger, Judomaster. And Rip believes that Avatar is his long lost sidekick, Tiger!

Quite a bit of story progression this issue, several reveals, but not too much action. That said, at the halfway point of this mini-series, it's moving along nicely. 

*Original within the Charlton/DC continuity...they seem to ignore Fox's rookie patrolman Dan Garret 

1 comment:

  1. Probably they ignore the Fox Beetle because it's in the public domain whereas the later versions DC has copyright to.